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August 12th, 2013
01:30 PM ET

Judge: Baby can't be named 'Messiah'

A Tennessee judge has ordered the parents of a 7-month-old boy to rename their son "Martin" instead of "Messiah," CNN affiliate WBIR reports.

"The word Messiah is a title and it's a title that has only been earned by one person and that one person is Jesus Christ," Child Support Magistrate Lu Ann Ballew said.

Jaleesa Martin, the child's mother, told WBIR that she intends to appeal the decision.

Do you agree with the judge's decision or do you think the parents should be able to name their son Messiah? Let us know in the comments below.

Read the full story at WBIR
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Church and state • Courts • Tennessee

soundoff (1,648 Responses)
  1. Vic

    No doubt everybody's rights are protected. I guess it boils down to appropriateness and common sense. How would it feel to name someone after something vulgar, like, let's say, a private body part, intimate act, etc?!

    August 12, 2013 at 10:17 pm |
    • Jesus "Copious Balls" Jones

      I think I resemble that remark.

      August 12, 2013 at 10:18 pm |
    • skytag

      What are you trying to say?

      August 12, 2013 at 10:35 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Is "messiah" a vulgar word for a body part?

      August 13, 2013 at 12:35 am |
    • sam stone

      "How would it feel to name someone after something vulgar, like, let's say, a private body part, intimate act, etc?!"

      Like Bush43's VP?

      August 13, 2013 at 2:34 am |
  2. robin

    That judge is stupid, if the mother was a high profile person the judge wouldn't have ordered a name change. Look at Beyonce and JZ, their daughter is named Blue Ivy. Look at all the celeberties that are naming their children weird names. Holly Madison from "Girls Next Door" named her daughter Rainbow. The government is taking away all the freedoms that this nation was build on and it and I am embarassed to say that I serve in the US Army

    August 12, 2013 at 10:12 pm |
    • Jesus "Copious Balls" Jones

      Who or what is a "Beyonce"?

      August 12, 2013 at 10:19 pm |
  3. Jon

    Actually, Tennessee law holds that a single woman should have the sole right to determine the name of her child.

    By the way, the born again brain surgeon who made this ignorant decision is magistrate, not a judge. Of course, since she's obviously one of the "chosen ones" i.e. one of the South's all too common religious fanatics, she obviously thinks she is qualified to dictate people's morals, legal or not.

    August 12, 2013 at 10:12 pm |
  4. animabotics

    What if God told her to name him that?

    August 12, 2013 at 10:11 pm |
  5. Magistrate Lu Ann Ballew

    and if I may elaborate, the word Messiah is a ti'tle for fooling people into believing false religion and it's a ti'tle that has only been earned by one person and that one person is Jesus Christ,

    August 12, 2013 at 10:10 pm |
    • Jesus "Copious Balls" Jones

      Fuck you, magistrate.

      August 12, 2013 at 10:12 pm |
      • Giggles

        Now THAT's funny. Rolling with it!

        August 12, 2013 at 10:16 pm |
      • Magistrate Lu Ann "Bubble Balls" Ballew

        same to you.

        August 12, 2013 at 10:26 pm |
  6. Giggles

    Obviously these people don't know the meaning of Messiah.,....and no one but Christ is the MESSIAH.

    August 12, 2013 at 10:08 pm |
    • Jesus "Copious Balls" Jones

      Love you too!

      August 12, 2013 at 10:17 pm |
    • Magistrate Lu Ann Ballew

      you mean Christ WAS !!! I am ruling against dead people retaining Ti'tle.

      August 12, 2013 at 10:30 pm |
    • skytag

      Obviously you don't know that what someone names her kid is none of your business.

      August 12, 2013 at 10:37 pm |
    • sam stone

      only slaves need a messiah

      August 13, 2013 at 2:22 am |
  7. Skeeza

    There are thousands of Latinos named Jesus walking the streets in Tennessee. They better hope they never end up in front of this judge, or they may all be changing their names to Jeff.

    August 12, 2013 at 10:06 pm |
    • Jeff Lopez

      Methinks you are too late with that!

      August 12, 2013 at 10:23 pm |
  8. usagirl

    Judge has no business saying what a parent can name a child. And its none of our business to judge what a parent wants to name their child, regardless of how ridiculous the name is. BTW there are far worse names out there and nobody ordered a name change. Google it. You'll find babies named Adolf Hitler. I'll take Messiah over Hitler any day.

    August 12, 2013 at 10:05 pm |
  9. -Scott

    That's it, I'm naming my next dog Messiah.

    August 12, 2013 at 10:05 pm |
    • p d

      messiah is soooo yesterday. i prefer dame llohan myself

      August 12, 2013 at 10:25 pm |
  10. mickey1313

    Thiests make is sick. They do not have the right to inflict there beliefs on anyone. When will they learn, that they are now in the minority, and need to sgut the f up.

    August 12, 2013 at 10:03 pm |
    • Dippy

      Theists, not thiests.

      August 12, 2013 at 10:15 pm |
  11. rswon

    I was 14 before I realized my name wasn't "Jesus Christ" and my middle name wasn't "quit-screwing-around-and-get-that-done".

    August 12, 2013 at 10:02 pm |
  12. OOO

    But Loyd Free can name his child WorldBe ?

    August 12, 2013 at 10:01 pm |
  13. Mark L.

    Who is to say that this beautiful boy isn't the Messiah? Who is to say that humanity won't be redeemed within this boy's lifetime?

    August 12, 2013 at 10:00 pm |
    • Athy

      I'll say it.

      August 12, 2013 at 10:01 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      yes, and then when the End Times come, the Messiah will open up his daddy's seven seals, realeasing upon the world Death, Pestilence, Starvation, War, etc., killing 2/3 of the human population. all hail the Messiah!

      August 12, 2013 at 10:04 pm |
    • KBinTX

      After all these years and knowledge...and we're still desperate for a "Messiah" to save us...and we think we are the rugged individualists portrayed by the actors in the movies...

      August 13, 2013 at 12:38 am |
  14. theala

    I would never name my kid Messiah. This mom is NOT doing her kid any favors with this name.

    That being said, it's her business not mine, and not this judge's. He is dead wrong in his decision.

    August 12, 2013 at 9:59 pm |
  15. Bootyfunk

    Tennessee, where the motto is "I ain't never had no use fer book-learnin", showing that religious intolerance DOES have a place in our courtrooms. stay classy, Tennessee!

    August 12, 2013 at 9:58 pm |
    • john

      bashing and insulting an entire state based on your disagreement with the judge's ruling does nothing to bolster your statement. I'm a proud TN resident with intelligence, we're not all as stupid as you think.

      August 12, 2013 at 10:04 pm |
      • Alias

        Well said. However, you have not changed my opinion of the ignorant inbred morons in Kentucky.

        August 12, 2013 at 10:16 pm |
  16. k

    This is ridiculous. I don't like the name and think it's in poor taste (personally) but of course she has a right to name her child that. But people name their kids all kinds of crazy things today (probably without thinking of how it will impact the child); so why should this woman be prohibited from doing the same?

    August 12, 2013 at 9:56 pm |
  17. Mah29

    She a name her baby anything she wants. Judge overstepped. This will e overturned on appeal.

    August 12, 2013 at 9:56 pm |
  18. justmakinsense

    Her decision to pick such a controversial name may not have been wise, but the main controversy lies between religion and the law..

    August 12, 2013 at 9:55 pm |
  19. John

    This be overturned on appeal. The judge should clearly be disbarred.

    August 12, 2013 at 9:52 pm |
    • DaMeglet

      I know, right? What ever happened to separation of church and state? Only in good ol' inbred Tennessee...

      August 12, 2013 at 9:54 pm |
  20. SERIOUSLY?

    Is this a joke? Who does this "judge" think she is - ? Didn't she take Being a Judge 101 @ Judge College? This woman is an absolute disgrace. "Disgusting" is the only word I can think of. Join the FB group "Disbar Judge Lu Ann Ballew," folks.

    August 12, 2013 at 9:51 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.